UK Men's Basketball

Fast break: How Kentucky beat Missouri

Missouri's Jabari Brown, right, looses the ball in front of the Kentucky bench as Kentucky's Alex Poythress, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Missouri's Jabari Brown, right, looses the ball in front of the Kentucky bench as Kentucky's Alex Poythress, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) AP

Talking points

Coming off a bad loss at LSU, Kentucky responded with a strong performance. Dakari Johnson replaced Willie Cauley-Stein in the starting lineup, meaning UK started five freshmen. UK came out sharp and led from the beginning, but ran into foul troubles. A UK zone defense gave Missouri problems and a flurry by Andrew Harrison helped the Cats to maybe their best half of the year and a 42-32 lead. The Cats could not contain Missouri but the UK offense responded each time Missouri was within three points.

Telling numbers

■ Both teams shot more than 50 percent.

■ No UK player other than Julius Randle had more than two rebounds.

■ The game was more than 22 minutes old before Missouri had an offensive rebound.

■ Johnson had two fouls less than four minutes into the game. Cauley-Stein had three less than nine minutes into the game. Alex Poythrees had two less than 10 minutes into the game.

■ UK outscored the Tigers 18-6 in the paint in the first half. Missouri outscored UK 28-18 in the paint in the second half.

Thumbs up

■ Slow starts have haunted UK. This time, Kentucky came out ready to play.

■ It was nice to see UK mix it up with some zone defense. You had to wonder why UK did not use it more.

■ The Harrisons were dynamic.

Thumbs down

■ UK needs a lock-down defender. Missouri guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson combined for 61 points.

■ More production must come from the center spot.

Herald-Leader Staff Report

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